Unmasked: Retired goalie greats say future of position in good hands

“I feel really good about the next wave,” mentioned Pekka Rinne, who retired after the 2020-21 season because the Nashville Predators’ chief in wins (369) and shutouts (60).

Among the ones on the height of the listing to fill the superstar hole contains John Gibson of the Anaheim Ducks, Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers.

They are following in the shadows of Rinne, Roberto Luongo, who retired in 2019 after 19 NHL seasons, and Henrik Lundqvist, who did the similar 12 months later after 15 seasons as a result of of a center factor that required surgical operation. Luongo and Lundqvist are fourth and 6th in wins in NHL historical past, with 489 and 459, respectively. 

Over the previous 3 seasons, the listing of distinguished goalies to retire additionally contains Tuukka Rask, who performed 15 seasons with the Boston Bruins and is first in their historical past in wins (308), Ryan Miller, who performed 18 seasons and has probably the most win amongst United States-born goalies in NHL historical past (391), Ben Bishop, who performed 11 seasons and completed with 222 wins and a .921 save share (tied for 2d with Rask in NHL historical past amongst goalies with a minimum of 200 begins), Jimmy Howard, who was once a starter for the Detroit Red Wings in 10 of his 14 NHL seasons, and Corey Crawford, who gained 259 video games and the Stanley Cup two times (2013, 2015) all through 10 complete seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Carey Price, the Montreal Canadiens all-time chief in wins (361), may not play this season as a result of of headaches from knee surgical operation that threaten to finish the occupation of arguably the position’s maximum influential skill of the previous decade.

“The game is more demanding for goalies than ever,” mentioned Rinne, who performed 13 complete NHL seasons and is one of 12 goalies in League historical past with a minimum of 350 wins and 60 shutouts. “The speed and skill today’s NHL players have forces goalies to play with speed, precision, and high hockey IQ. Today’s No. 1 goalies have those qualities. They’re hybrids and multidimensional and great athletes. I love watching the current top goalies.”

The quantity of fresh retirements have higher alternatives for some younger goalies.

“Some really talented goalies,” Miller mentioned.

Miller would know. He performed his ultimate 4 seasons as backup to at least one of the ones goalies: Gibson.

“We will see how many of them do with more of a workload this year,” Miller mentioned. “The guys who retired played a lot of hockey each year. Seems like the NHL has embraced the 1a, 1b style on many teams.”

Miller mentioned he expects this season to be other from the previous few, which integrated interruptions and absences led to via the COVID-19 pandemic. As a outcome, the NHL noticed a file 119 goalies play in a minimum of one recreation closing season.

With a regular offseason and coaching camps — and the hopes for fewer COVID-19 similar absences — extra goalies may play No. 1 mins, regardless that.

Some, like Vasilevskiy, 28, and Connor Hellebuyck, 29, of the Winnipeg Jets, have established themselves as standouts, every having gained a Vezina Trophy because the NHL’s height goalie. Vasilveskiy and Hellebuyck had been amongst the ones Miller and Rinne known as goalies prone to have lengthy careers as elite goalies. 

That listing additionally integrated Shesterkin, who gained the Vezina Trophy and was once a finalist for the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP closing season, the 26-year-old’s 2d since succeeding Lundqvist because the beginning goalie for the Rangers. Miller’s top-five listing was once rounded out via Gibson, 29, and Thatcher Demko, 26, who’s in his 2d season because the Vancouver Canucks’ No. 1. Rinne selected Juuse Saros, 27, who was once a Vezina finalist closing season and performed with Rinne for portions of six seasons, and Jacob Markstrom, 32, of the Calgary Flames to conclude his listing.

Miller did not need to prevent at 5 names, on the other hand, bringing up Saros, Markstrom, Jake Oettinger, 23, of the Dallas Stars, Ilya Sorokin, 27, of the New York Islanders, Tristan Jarry, 27, of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Elvis Merzlikins, 28, of the Columbus Blue Jackets as choices.

“A lot of guys seem like they are on the precipice of making the next step,” Miller mentioned.

Waiting simply at the back of the ones already getting that opportunity as starters is any other wave.

Luongo, who might be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November, additionally had Oettinger on his listing, which targeted extra on goalies that hadn’t but gotten a possibility to be No. 1.

Spencer Knight, 21, who’s coming into his 2d complete season with the Florida Panthers, and Jeremy Swayman, 23, who could also be coming into his 2d complete season with the Bruins, had been two named via Luongo. Daniil Tarasov, 23, of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Jesper Wallstedt, 19, who is ready to begin his skilled occupation in North America with the Minnesota Wild’s American Hockey League associate, and Yaroslav Askarov, 20, who is set to do the similar with the Nashville Predators AHL associate, had been additionally at the listing.

“There’s going to be a new generation of technically perfect goalies coming in the near future,” mentioned Luongo, who heads the Panthers goaltending excellence division and is a distinct guide to normal supervisor Bill Zito. “It’s just a matter of when, not if.”

Leave a Comment